After posting my views on the ASUU strike, someone sent me the following analysis by someone named Kay Lord. I feel it is worth sharing with my esteemed followers on this platform.
You can then make up your minds on these issues as you see fit.
Rather long, but worth reading, and hoping the “Powers That Be” also get to read this and change their policies:
“The Problem with Nigerian University System”
I have been doing a lot of research on why we continually have problems with university education in Nigeria.
Chief of our problem is funding. Just like every other system in Nigeria, over-dependence on the govt for everything is killing our university education.
I am yet to see any country in d world with a working university system that runs universities the way we run ours in Nigeria.
Universities in the United Kingdom and their yearly revenue:
|Universities||£ – Annual Revenue|
These are the total revenue/income of the top Universities in Britain per year.
Guess what, every dime u see above here is generated by these Unies on their own through income from student fees, govt grants & research grants, as well as generating their own income through charitable fundraising, investments & business activities such as ‘spin-out companies.
Meanwhile, only about a quarter of their income comes from UK student fees. The rest comes from higher fees paid by international students, charitable donations, and investments that Universities make.
I am going somewhere. Let’s break it down.
What’s govt grant? Govt grants make up about 30.6% of total revenue for most UK universities.
Students’ fees are about 29.4%. Self-generated income is 20.4% & research grants about 19.6%. It varies with a very little margin from University to university.
Therefore total revenue from non-governmental grants is 69.4% while grants from the government are merely 30.6%.
Therefore in a country that wants to maximize its university educational system, the government’s contribution cannot be more than 35% at most.
We are in trouble with our university education system in Nigeria because we make universities totally dependent on the government for its revenue and running costs. That’s an aberration!
We need a total disruption of our university education system.
What we have always lacked is a leader with the political will to take tough decisions devoid of political correctness.
We need to totally reform our university system & the recruitment process of Vice Chancellors.
We have VCs of public Universities behaving like State governors, lame-duck leaders, sitting down & expecting monthly drawdown from the Federal government to pay salaries & enjoy the largesse of office and then wait for next month’s drawdown.
Our system of administration does not excite nor tax the ingenuity of any man. It makes people lazy.
It would take a total reform to unleash the dragon & let Professors prove their mettle as eggheads by leading from the front on how they can generate revenue for the running of our unies.
Recruitment of VCs must take the pattern of recruitment for a multinational where revenue targets are set and the potential candidates must be able to prove how they would meet the revenue targets for their university or go bankrupt.
It’s d failure to reform our university system that gave rise to private universities.
That’s why privately owned unies are not popular in countries with a very solid public University system.
Rich folks gave major grants to universities instead of thinking of starting their own.
It’s part of their charitable endeavour.
Imagine Chief Afe Babalola sinking every money he has spent on his private University, ABUAD on Ekiti State University in form of grants & endowments, In addition to Ekiti State govt subvention to that university.
How do you think Ekiti State University would look like today? Imagine Bishop Oyedepo sinking all the money he has invested in Covenant University in the University of Ilorin. I can go on and on.
In addition, I am yet to see a country with a robust university system allowing students to attend universities almost for free like Nigeria. University education is not a universal basic education. Not everybody needs a university education to make it in life.
That’s why you see a lot of Nigerian university graduates drop their certificates and then follow their passion in another area totally outside of what they studied. If you must have a university education, then you must be ready to pay for it.
Please, let’s not deceive ourselves that Nigerians can’t pay for university education.
Nigerian students attending universities in the UK rose from 13,000 in 2018/19 to 21,305 during the 2020/21 academic session.
Nigerians paid N152 billion in tuition to UK universities…… and Nigeria is the largest overseas market for UK universities among other African nations.
We need to be deliberate about how we revamp our university system.
We can’t continue doing the same thing every time under different governments, yet expected a different result.
It is only in Nigeria that we see that obviously, a system is not working, yet different govt under different political parties keep reinforcing that flawed solution template to solve d same old problem. You don’t need a soothsayer to tell u that failure is a sure bet u will get.
Negotiation with ASUU is not what we need. They’ve been negotiating for over 30 years and nothing had come out of all the negotiations.
The reason is that the federal government can never meet up with the kind of money to really cater to all the Universities.
Universities are not run that way. Govt must hand of 60% of their involvement with university education, or give a moratorium of a 10-year withdrawal plan from University funding.
Reduce funding every 2 years, and recruit VCs that are forward-looking and ready to work to get grants and endowments for his/her university.
Let our public universities be tuition-paying universities, strengthen professional certification for people with skills, and make it recognizable as ICAN does with accounting.
This way people can be proud of their professionalism without a university degree, and be sure they can get a well-paying job.
That way only people who really needed to attend a university would do so.
Presently, my boss at work here in the UK has no university degree …… but he’s an experienced hand with a deep knowledge of his industry.
He consults for the government on reforms in the sector and is an authority in his field.
Under him, we have people with multiple degrees but we all defer to him because he knows his onions.
Presently, a lot of Nigerians with master’s degrees are abandoning their degree certificates and getting certification in Project Management, Agile, Business Analysis, and getting into tech jobs that pay well.
Nobody cares about what they studied at the University.
What employers are looking for and asking for is your certification in a technology-related field and your experience in that field to get employment.
I sincerely believe we can revamp this system because we have more to gain if we do or more to lose if we don’t.
©️ Kay Lord
Dr Charles Omole is a Lawyer, Security consultant, Trainer and Strategist to businesses and governments across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Also, a Constitutional Law Scholar, he brings together an excellent academic & research pedigree and practical industry experience in a compelling proposition. He is a global expert in Law Enforcement Jurisprudence and Organizational Transformation.